OnwardMobility is not going to make a new 5G smartphone with a physical keyboard and extra strong security, despite the company reporting in January that development was still ongoing. Instead, the company is now even closing its doors.
In a update on his website let the American OnwardMobility know that closing the start-up “wasn’t an easy or rushed decision,” but it doesn’t give a reason for stopping work on the phone and closing the company. Furthermore, only thanks for the ‘huge amount of support’ that people have shown since the founding of the company and the start of the project.
There was already a rumor about why this phone would not see the light of day. BlackBerry is said to have canceled the agreement that allowed Onwardmobility to use the name. Perhaps the fact that BlackBerry is selling all its patents has something to do with that.
The BlackBerry brand name came into the hands of TCL after being licensed by its original maker. That was in 2016. It also produced the KeyOne and Key2, also with physical keyboards. OnwardMobility got the license for BlackBerry in 2020 and the company planned to recreate a ‘typical’ BlackBerry, with a physical keyboard, focus on business users and very good security.
Their device would come out in 2021, was originally the intention. That year passed without a phone from the company and the project seemed to have bled to death. Still, OnwardMobility released an update in January. It described 2021 as a “very difficult year to release a smartphone, let alone one with our expectations” and said it would come with regular updates on the project. Now, less than a month and a half later, the plug is pulled from the project and the company.
The 2018 BlackBerry Key2, the last BlackBerry to date with a physical keyboard, made by TCL